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Our 1st year in Perth update..... Lovin' it!

Our 1st year in Perth update..... Lovin' it!

Old Jan 7th 2007, 11:27 am
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Default Our 1st year in Perth update..... Lovin' it!

When we arrived, after getting so much help from this web site, I promised I’d do a ‘6 weeks in’ update and then a ‘6 months on’ etc, but I never got around to it, so here’s a few thoughts about our first year in Oz.
It was 1 year on 6th Jan 07 since we arrived in Perth, on the start of our adventure.

A quick background……
I had previously backpacked all over Australia and for the past 20 years it has always been my favourite country and one that I would love to move to one day.
5 years ago I married Michelle (English) in Sydney after being together for 10 years.
For her and our then 3-year-old son it was their first trip to Oz. We had a wonderful wedding and travelled along the East coast and drove up to Port Douglas.
2 years later we all returned to Oz, this time visiting WA (Perth, Margaret River), Victoria (Melbourne, Great Ocean Road) and again to Sydney where we had friends. We kept saying, “If we get the opportunity, we should go and live there!”

Then in 2006, just the opportunity came along and I was sponsored by a major company on a 457 visa for a 2-year contract.
After initial worries about the job and working in a different country, it all was unnecessary worrying as everything has turned out fantastic, and I’ve been promoted with excellent prospects ahead for 2007.
We are now being sponsored for Permanent Residency, which we hope to get in the next moth or two, so everything is going great, so far. Whatever happens we’re determined to get citizenship, as we believe this will be an excellent ‘present’ to give to our son so he can make choices when he’s older.

We kept our house in the UK and rented it out. We took out landlords insurance to cover the rent should our tenant loose their job or become ill and not able to work etc etc. For £286 per year, it gives us piece of mind. (www.letsure.co.uk)

We opened a HSBC bank account in Perth, simply for the reason that we bank with HSBC/First Direct in the UK and international transfers are just £10 per transaction. If we need to visit the bank often, it would be not our 1st choice as there is only one branch in the city and parking is expensive near to the bank, that’s if you can find any! With Internet banking, the only times we have needed to visit the bank is to get a bank cheque when we bought our cars.

When we first arrived into Perth, our very dear friend met us off the aircraft and we stayed with her in the Swan Valley for the first few weeks while we found our feet. The Swan Valley is nice, very hot in the summer as the sea breeze gets the entire heat from the land by the time it gets to the valley, PHEW! She had a couple of horses and dogs and a great property surrounded by paddocks.

We were very lucky to be house sitting for a professional couple who were taking a year off to circumnavigate Australia in a camper van. This had all been arranged before we left the UK and so we knew where we were going to live and which school our son would be going too etc.
Once they set off on their journey, we moved into their house (fully furnished) in the suburb of Marmion, which is North of the River (NOR) and right on the beach!
We had a lovely time and met some great local mum’s and dads who had their kids at the local Marmion Primary School. The school is wonderful and our son settled in very quick and made friends fast and the fact that he settled and was happy, made the whole move down under so much easier.
On the first day at the school, other Mum’s realised my wife was a ‘new mum’ and they all headed off to the beach to get to know each other. She’s ended up great friends with them and started surfing and I bought her a surfboard for her birthday. Now if someone had told me that my wife would be surfing with weeks of arriving, I’d never had believed them! J

We have been back to the UK twice for short holidays during the school holidays, just to see the family and friends. Great to see them, but it made us quickly realise that we preferred Perth to the UK. I know 2 trips in less than a year is extravagant, but we figured for the first few years we’d keep making the trips home to help ease the pain of our parents.
When we left Birmingham to come back to Oz the 2nd time, I had absolutely NO DOUBT in my mind… not even a little one, that we were heading the right way and that Australia is for us the right choice.

Communication with parents and family has been easy. We first used calling cards, which appeared cheap, but you pay for a local call every time you use it and I thought it was expensive. We then discovered www.jajah.com and now make free phone calls to the UK everyday for 1 hour per day. Once you have used the free call allocation, it just 0.015p per minute, so very cheap to call our parents. My wife has at least 2 hours a day on the phone!

So it can’t all be great can it???
Well for us, yes it has been an amazing experience and a year that we’ll never forget, for as long as we live.
We found it hard to buy a 2nd hand car, despite having done loads of research before we left the UK etc, they did appear expensive over here and you get the feeling of paying more then you would in the UK and of course it’s in an un familiar currency to make things even harder.

We have found it quite expensive to shop for everyday basics. Food costs more, so does beer and definitely wine (this was a complete shock) especially as there’s so much produced here! All this on a much lower wage than we were on in the UK, which makes it easy to see why you hear of people going back, after a very short period.
The cost of housing is completely ridiculous at the moment and prices have risen out of all proportions in the past couple of years. We’re now renting a lovely house in the suburb of Hillarys and absolutely love the property and the location. We’re paying more than we’d ever pay for a rental in the UK, but we have never been so happy in our lives and so for us, the extra expense is worth it.
With Permanent Residency on the horizon, we keep thinking about selling our UK property and buying here, but the house next door has just gone on the market at £1.25 million and we know this is way more than we can afford, so we may just carry on renting and enjoying life for now. If houses continue to rise, we’ll kick ourselves for not buying, but if we buy now with the market so high and the prices drop like they did in the UK a few years back, we’ll also kick ourselves…. So who know what we’ll do.

I could go on and on about what’s good and what’s bad, but for everyone it’s going to be different and affect them in different ways.
The one bit of advice I would offer to anyone is, be prepared for an emotional roller coaster ride. NEVER under estimate the strain it may put on your relationship and understand that you will need to work as a team and the whole family has to work together to make it happen. You just have to be strong and be there for each other.
I would never come here if I didn’t have a strong relationship with my partner. Coming here to see if a new country could make things better between you, might be the same as saying lets have another baby and we’ll love each other once more! It ain’t gonna happen!

Everyone I know that has made the move has said it takes 2 years minimum to finally feel settled. Well as I said the 1st year has passed and we just laugh to each other daily how good we feel our life is now. Sure work is hard, but it was in the UK. Sure we never have enough money, we didn’t in the UK etc. Life is just more fun here, with great weather and a great out door lifestyle. We have just got back from the beach and the water was just fantastic and to see our son playing in the surf for hours, it certainly beats watching him sitting in a house with the central heating on full playing on the Play Station for hours!

Anyone having 2nd thought about giving it a try…. Just say to yourself, “Life is too short, there are no rehearsals, this is the real thing” Just go and give it a try, give it 2 years minimum and then make a decision on the future. If it doesn’t work out, you just go back, but at least you gave it a try!

OK I’ve rambled on enough, (sorry) hopefully anyone reading this will realise I/we are the happiest we could be. I still cannot believe we have had this amazing opportunity and everyday I say thank you!

Neil, Michelle & Ethan.
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Old Jan 7th 2007, 5:48 pm
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Default Re: Our 1st year in Perth update..... Lovin' it!

Originally Posted by h2oskineil View Post
When we arrived, after getting so much help from this web site, I promised I’d do a ‘6 weeks in’ update and then a ‘6 months on’ etc, but I never got around to it, so here’s a few thoughts about our first year in Oz.
It was 1 year on 6th Jan 07 since we arrived in Perth, on the start of our adventure.

A quick background……
I had previously backpacked all over Australia and for the past 20 years it has always been my favourite country and one that I would love to move to one day.
5 years ago I married Michelle (English) in Sydney after being together for 10 years.
For her and our then 3-year-old son it was their first trip to Oz. We had a wonderful wedding and travelled along the East coast and drove up to Port Douglas.
2 years later we all returned to Oz, this time visiting WA (Perth, Margaret River), Victoria (Melbourne, Great Ocean Road) and again to Sydney where we had friends. We kept saying, “If we get the opportunity, we should go and live there!”

Then in 2006, just the opportunity came along and I was sponsored by a major company on a 457 visa for a 2-year contract.
After initial worries about the job and working in a different country, it all was unnecessary worrying as everything has turned out fantastic, and I’ve been promoted with excellent prospects ahead for 2007.
We are now being sponsored for Permanent Residency, which we hope to get in the next moth or two, so everything is going great, so far. Whatever happens we’re determined to get citizenship, as we believe this will be an excellent ‘present’ to give to our son so he can make choices when he’s older.

We kept our house in the UK and rented it out. We took out landlords insurance to cover the rent should our tenant loose their job or become ill and not able to work etc etc. For £286 per year, it gives us piece of mind. (www.letsure.co.uk)

We opened a HSBC bank account in Perth, simply for the reason that we bank with HSBC/First Direct in the UK and international transfers are just £10 per transaction. If we need to visit the bank often, it would be not our 1st choice as there is only one branch in the city and parking is expensive near to the bank, that’s if you can find any! With Internet banking, the only times we have needed to visit the bank is to get a bank cheque when we bought our cars.

When we first arrived into Perth, our very dear friend met us off the aircraft and we stayed with her in the Swan Valley for the first few weeks while we found our feet. The Swan Valley is nice, very hot in the summer as the sea breeze gets the entire heat from the land by the time it gets to the valley, PHEW! She had a couple of horses and dogs and a great property surrounded by paddocks.

We were very lucky to be house sitting for a professional couple who were taking a year off to circumnavigate Australia in a camper van. This had all been arranged before we left the UK and so we knew where we were going to live and which school our son would be going too etc.
Once they set off on their journey, we moved into their house (fully furnished) in the suburb of Marmion, which is North of the River (NOR) and right on the beach!
We had a lovely time and met some great local mum’s and dads who had their kids at the local Marmion Primary School. The school is wonderful and our son settled in very quick and made friends fast and the fact that he settled and was happy, made the whole move down under so much easier.
On the first day at the school, other Mum’s realised my wife was a ‘new mum’ and they all headed off to the beach to get to know each other. She’s ended up great friends with them and started surfing and I bought her a surfboard for her birthday. Now if someone had told me that my wife would be surfing with weeks of arriving, I’d never had believed them! J

We have been back to the UK twice for short holidays during the school holidays, just to see the family and friends. Great to see them, but it made us quickly realise that we preferred Perth to the UK. I know 2 trips in less than a year is extravagant, but we figured for the first few years we’d keep making the trips home to help ease the pain of our parents.
When we left Birmingham to come back to Oz the 2nd time, I had absolutely NO DOUBT in my mind… not even a little one, that we were heading the right way and that Australia is for us the right choice.

Communication with parents and family has been easy. We first used calling cards, which appeared cheap, but you pay for a local call every time you use it and I thought it was expensive. We then discovered www.jajah.com and now make free phone calls to the UK everyday for 1 hour per day. Once you have used the free call allocation, it just 0.015p per minute, so very cheap to call our parents. My wife has at least 2 hours a day on the phone!

So it can’t all be great can it???
Well for us, yes it has been an amazing experience and a year that we’ll never forget, for as long as we live.
We found it hard to buy a 2nd hand car, despite having done loads of research before we left the UK etc, they did appear expensive over here and you get the feeling of paying more then you would in the UK and of course it’s in an un familiar currency to make things even harder.

We have found it quite expensive to shop for everyday basics. Food costs more, so does beer and definitely wine (this was a complete shock) especially as there’s so much produced here! All this on a much lower wage than we were on in the UK, which makes it easy to see why you hear of people going back, after a very short period.
The cost of housing is completely ridiculous at the moment and prices have risen out of all proportions in the past couple of years. We’re now renting a lovely house in the suburb of Hillarys and absolutely love the property and the location. We’re paying more than we’d ever pay for a rental in the UK, but we have never been so happy in our lives and so for us, the extra expense is worth it.
With Permanent Residency on the horizon, we keep thinking about selling our UK property and buying here, but the house next door has just gone on the market at £1.25 million and we know this is way more than we can afford, so we may just carry on renting and enjoying life for now. If houses continue to rise, we’ll kick ourselves for not buying, but if we buy now with the market so high and the prices drop like they did in the UK a few years back, we’ll also kick ourselves…. So who know what we’ll do.

I could go on and on about what’s good and what’s bad, but for everyone it’s going to be different and affect them in different ways.
The one bit of advice I would offer to anyone is, be prepared for an emotional roller coaster ride. NEVER under estimate the strain it may put on your relationship and understand that you will need to work as a team and the whole family has to work together to make it happen. You just have to be strong and be there for each other.
I would never come here if I didn’t have a strong relationship with my partner. Coming here to see if a new country could make things better between you, might be the same as saying lets have another baby and we’ll love each other once more! It ain’t gonna happen!

Everyone I know that has made the move has said it takes 2 years minimum to finally feel settled. Well as I said the 1st year has passed and we just laugh to each other daily how good we feel our life is now. Sure work is hard, but it was in the UK. Sure we never have enough money, we didn’t in the UK etc. Life is just more fun here, with great weather and a great out door lifestyle. We have just got back from the beach and the water was just fantastic and to see our son playing in the surf for hours, it certainly beats watching him sitting in a house with the central heating on full playing on the Play Station for hours!

Anyone having 2nd thought about giving it a try…. Just say to yourself, “Life is too short, there are no rehearsals, this is the real thing” Just go and give it a try, give it 2 years minimum and then make a decision on the future. If it doesn’t work out, you just go back, but at least you gave it a try!

OK I’ve rambled on enough, (sorry) hopefully anyone reading this will realise I/we are the happiest we could be. I still cannot believe we have had this amazing opportunity and everyday I say thank you!

Neil, Michelle & Ethan.
Fantastic post guys..brought a huge smile to my face!

Here's hoping we enjoy the experioence as much as you guys have!
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Old Jan 7th 2007, 5:58 pm
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Default Re: Our 1st year in Perth update..... Lovin' it!

Hi a great read and yeah it shows you guys are really happy and this has been the right move for you and your family. Best of luck for year 2.

Donna & Neil
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Old Jan 7th 2007, 9:24 pm
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Default Re: Our 1st year in Perth update..... Lovin' it!

Fantastic post, really glad you are settling in well. All the best for the future.

Joex
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Old Jan 8th 2007, 12:22 pm
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Default Re: Our 1st year in Perth update..... Lovin' it!

Originally Posted by h2oskineil View Post
When we arrived, after getting so much help from this web site, I promised I’d do a ‘6 weeks in’ update and then a ‘6 months on’ etc, but I never got around to it, so here’s a few thoughts about our first year in Oz.
It was 1 year on 6th Jan 07 since we arrived in Perth, on the start of our adventure.

A quick background……
I had previously backpacked all over Australia and for the past 20 years it has always been my favourite country and one that I would love to move to one day.
5 years ago I married Michelle (English) in Sydney after being together for 10 years.
For her and our then 3-year-old son it was their first trip to Oz. We had a wonderful wedding and travelled along the East coast and drove up to Port Douglas.
2 years later we all returned to Oz, this time visiting WA (Perth, Margaret River), Victoria (Melbourne, Great Ocean Road) and again to Sydney where we had friends. We kept saying, “If we get the opportunity, we should go and live there!”

Then in 2006, just the opportunity came along and I was sponsored by a major company on a 457 visa for a 2-year contract.
After initial worries about the job and working in a different country, it all was unnecessary worrying as everything has turned out fantastic, and I’ve been promoted with excellent prospects ahead for 2007.
We are now being sponsored for Permanent Residency, which we hope to get in the next moth or two, so everything is going great, so far. Whatever happens we’re determined to get citizenship, as we believe this will be an excellent ‘present’ to give to our son so he can make choices when he’s older.

We kept our house in the UK and rented it out. We took out landlords insurance to cover the rent should our tenant loose their job or become ill and not able to work etc etc. For £286 per year, it gives us piece of mind. (www.letsure.co.uk)

We opened a HSBC bank account in Perth, simply for the reason that we bank with HSBC/First Direct in the UK and international transfers are just £10 per transaction. If we need to visit the bank often, it would be not our 1st choice as there is only one branch in the city and parking is expensive near to the bank, that’s if you can find any! With Internet banking, the only times we have needed to visit the bank is to get a bank cheque when we bought our cars.

When we first arrived into Perth, our very dear friend met us off the aircraft and we stayed with her in the Swan Valley for the first few weeks while we found our feet. The Swan Valley is nice, very hot in the summer as the sea breeze gets the entire heat from the land by the time it gets to the valley, PHEW! She had a couple of horses and dogs and a great property surrounded by paddocks.

We were very lucky to be house sitting for a professional couple who were taking a year off to circumnavigate Australia in a camper van. This had all been arranged before we left the UK and so we knew where we were going to live and which school our son would be going too etc.
Once they set off on their journey, we moved into their house (fully furnished) in the suburb of Marmion, which is North of the River (NOR) and right on the beach!
We had a lovely time and met some great local mum’s and dads who had their kids at the local Marmion Primary School. The school is wonderful and our son settled in very quick and made friends fast and the fact that he settled and was happy, made the whole move down under so much easier.
On the first day at the school, other Mum’s realised my wife was a ‘new mum’ and they all headed off to the beach to get to know each other. She’s ended up great friends with them and started surfing and I bought her a surfboard for her birthday. Now if someone had told me that my wife would be surfing with weeks of arriving, I’d never had believed them! J

We have been back to the UK twice for short holidays during the school holidays, just to see the family and friends. Great to see them, but it made us quickly realise that we preferred Perth to the UK. I know 2 trips in less than a year is extravagant, but we figured for the first few years we’d keep making the trips home to help ease the pain of our parents.
When we left Birmingham to come back to Oz the 2nd time, I had absolutely NO DOUBT in my mind… not even a little one, that we were heading the right way and that Australia is for us the right choice.

Communication with parents and family has been easy. We first used calling cards, which appeared cheap, but you pay for a local call every time you use it and I thought it was expensive. We then discovered www.jajah.com and now make free phone calls to the UK everyday for 1 hour per day. Once you have used the free call allocation, it just 0.015p per minute, so very cheap to call our parents. My wife has at least 2 hours a day on the phone!

So it can’t all be great can it???
Well for us, yes it has been an amazing experience and a year that we’ll never forget, for as long as we live.
We found it hard to buy a 2nd hand car, despite having done loads of research before we left the UK etc, they did appear expensive over here and you get the feeling of paying more then you would in the UK and of course it’s in an un familiar currency to make things even harder.

We have found it quite expensive to shop for everyday basics. Food costs more, so does beer and definitely wine (this was a complete shock) especially as there’s so much produced here! All this on a much lower wage than we were on in the UK, which makes it easy to see why you hear of people going back, after a very short period.
The cost of housing is completely ridiculous at the moment and prices have risen out of all proportions in the past couple of years. We’re now renting a lovely house in the suburb of Hillarys and absolutely love the property and the location. We’re paying more than we’d ever pay for a rental in the UK, but we have never been so happy in our lives and so for us, the extra expense is worth it.
With Permanent Residency on the horizon, we keep thinking about selling our UK property and buying here, but the house next door has just gone on the market at £1.25 million and we know this is way more than we can afford, so we may just carry on renting and enjoying life for now. If houses continue to rise, we’ll kick ourselves for not buying, but if we buy now with the market so high and the prices drop like they did in the UK a few years back, we’ll also kick ourselves…. So who know what we’ll do.

I could go on and on about what’s good and what’s bad, but for everyone it’s going to be different and affect them in different ways.
The one bit of advice I would offer to anyone is, be prepared for an emotional roller coaster ride. NEVER under estimate the strain it may put on your relationship and understand that you will need to work as a team and the whole family has to work together to make it happen. You just have to be strong and be there for each other.
I would never come here if I didn’t have a strong relationship with my partner. Coming here to see if a new country could make things better between you, might be the same as saying lets have another baby and we’ll love each other once more! It ain’t gonna happen!

Everyone I know that has made the move has said it takes 2 years minimum to finally feel settled. Well as I said the 1st year has passed and we just laugh to each other daily how good we feel our life is now. Sure work is hard, but it was in the UK. Sure we never have enough money, we didn’t in the UK etc. Life is just more fun here, with great weather and a great out door lifestyle. We have just got back from the beach and the water was just fantastic and to see our son playing in the surf for hours, it certainly beats watching him sitting in a house with the central heating on full playing on the Play Station for hours!

Anyone having 2nd thought about giving it a try…. Just say to yourself, “Life is too short, there are no rehearsals, this is the real thing” Just go and give it a try, give it 2 years minimum and then make a decision on the future. If it doesn’t work out, you just go back, but at least you gave it a try!

OK I’ve rambled on enough, (sorry) hopefully anyone reading this will realise I/we are the happiest we could be. I still cannot believe we have had this amazing opportunity and everyday I say thank you!

Neil, Michelle & Ethan.
Excellent post Neil, really glad you are all settled. Now that I am not in the area and Katie has moved schools I don't see Michelle around so pls give her my love.

Carole xx
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Old Jan 8th 2007, 3:51 pm
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Default Re: Our 1st year in Perth update..... Lovin' it!

Good to hear a positive post like this one.
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Old Jan 8th 2007, 11:35 pm
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Default Re: Our 1st year in Perth update..... Lovin' it!

good post, but food and wine does seem more $$ in perth than in sydney, mebourne, and adelaide when i was out there in 2005, especiailly fruit, the grapes were 4 times more expensive in perth than the east coast supermarkets, but the wine is defenitly cheaper than the wine in the uk, by a few ££ per bottle.
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Old Jan 9th 2007, 12:28 am
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Default Re: Our 1st year in Perth update..... Lovin' it!

Such and excellent post, I really enjoyed reading it. My 6 year old came home from school and spent 3 hours on his playstation......I can't wait for all that to end and watch him out in the sunshine splashing about and having fun!

Best wishes for your future and good luck with the PR!

Jackie
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Old Jan 9th 2007, 6:53 am
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Default Re: Our 1st year in Perth update..... Lovin' it!

[QUOTE=h2oskineil;4256882]
When we left Birmingham to come back to Oz the 2nd time, I had absolutely NO DOUBT in my mind… not even a little one, that we were heading the right way and that Australia is for us the right choice.

QUOTE]

Leaving Birmingham is ALWAYS the right choice!

Great post - very informative and upbeat!
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Old Jan 9th 2007, 7:03 am
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Default Re: Our 1st year in Perth update..... Lovin' it!

Originally Posted by h2oskineil View Post
When we arrived, after getting so much help from this web site, I promised I’d do a ‘6 weeks in’ update and then a ‘6 months on’ etc, but I never got around to it, so here’s a few thoughts about our first year in Oz.
It was 1 year on 6th Jan 07 since we arrived in Perth, on the start of our adventure.

A quick background……
I had previously backpacked all over Australia and for the past 20 years it has always been my favourite country and one that I would love to move to one day.
5 years ago I married Michelle (English) in Sydney after being together for 10 years.
For her and our then 3-year-old son it was their first trip to Oz. We had a wonderful wedding and travelled along the East coast and drove up to Port Douglas.
2 years later we all returned to Oz, this time visiting WA (Perth, Margaret River), Victoria (Melbourne, Great Ocean Road) and again to Sydney where we had friends. We kept saying, “If we get the opportunity, we should go and live there!”

Then in 2006, just the opportunity came along and I was sponsored by a major company on a 457 visa for a 2-year contract.
After initial worries about the job and working in a different country, it all was unnecessary worrying as everything has turned out fantastic, and I’ve been promoted with excellent prospects ahead for 2007.
We are now being sponsored for Permanent Residency, which we hope to get in the next moth or two, so everything is going great, so far. Whatever happens we’re determined to get citizenship, as we believe this will be an excellent ‘present’ to give to our son so he can make choices when he’s older.

We kept our house in the UK and rented it out. We took out landlords insurance to cover the rent should our tenant loose their job or become ill and not able to work etc etc. For £286 per year, it gives us piece of mind. (www.letsure.co.uk)

We opened a HSBC bank account in Perth, simply for the reason that we bank with HSBC/First Direct in the UK and international transfers are just £10 per transaction. If we need to visit the bank often, it would be not our 1st choice as there is only one branch in the city and parking is expensive near to the bank, that’s if you can find any! With Internet banking, the only times we have needed to visit the bank is to get a bank cheque when we bought our cars.

When we first arrived into Perth, our very dear friend met us off the aircraft and we stayed with her in the Swan Valley for the first few weeks while we found our feet. The Swan Valley is nice, very hot in the summer as the sea breeze gets the entire heat from the land by the time it gets to the valley, PHEW! She had a couple of horses and dogs and a great property surrounded by paddocks.

We were very lucky to be house sitting for a professional couple who were taking a year off to circumnavigate Australia in a camper van. This had all been arranged before we left the UK and so we knew where we were going to live and which school our son would be going too etc.
Once they set off on their journey, we moved into their house (fully furnished) in the suburb of Marmion, which is North of the River (NOR) and right on the beach!
We had a lovely time and met some great local mum’s and dads who had their kids at the local Marmion Primary School. The school is wonderful and our son settled in very quick and made friends fast and the fact that he settled and was happy, made the whole move down under so much easier.
On the first day at the school, other Mum’s realised my wife was a ‘new mum’ and they all headed off to the beach to get to know each other. She’s ended up great friends with them and started surfing and I bought her a surfboard for her birthday. Now if someone had told me that my wife would be surfing with weeks of arriving, I’d never had believed them! J

We have been back to the UK twice for short holidays during the school holidays, just to see the family and friends. Great to see them, but it made us quickly realise that we preferred Perth to the UK. I know 2 trips in less than a year is extravagant, but we figured for the first few years we’d keep making the trips home to help ease the pain of our parents.
When we left Birmingham to come back to Oz the 2nd time, I had absolutely NO DOUBT in my mind… not even a little one, that we were heading the right way and that Australia is for us the right choice.

Communication with parents and family has been easy. We first used calling cards, which appeared cheap, but you pay for a local call every time you use it and I thought it was expensive. We then discovered www.jajah.com and now make free phone calls to the UK everyday for 1 hour per day. Once you have used the free call allocation, it just 0.015p per minute, so very cheap to call our parents. My wife has at least 2 hours a day on the phone!

So it can’t all be great can it???
Well for us, yes it has been an amazing experience and a year that we’ll never forget, for as long as we live.
We found it hard to buy a 2nd hand car, despite having done loads of research before we left the UK etc, they did appear expensive over here and you get the feeling of paying more then you would in the UK and of course it’s in an un familiar currency to make things even harder.

We have found it quite expensive to shop for everyday basics. Food costs more, so does beer and definitely wine (this was a complete shock) especially as there’s so much produced here! All this on a much lower wage than we were on in the UK, which makes it easy to see why you hear of people going back, after a very short period.
The cost of housing is completely ridiculous at the moment and prices have risen out of all proportions in the past couple of years. We’re now renting a lovely house in the suburb of Hillarys and absolutely love the property and the location. We’re paying more than we’d ever pay for a rental in the UK, but we have never been so happy in our lives and so for us, the extra expense is worth it.
With Permanent Residency on the horizon, we keep thinking about selling our UK property and buying here, but the house next door has just gone on the market at £1.25 million and we know this is way more than we can afford, so we may just carry on renting and enjoying life for now. If houses continue to rise, we’ll kick ourselves for not buying, but if we buy now with the market so high and the prices drop like they did in the UK a few years back, we’ll also kick ourselves…. So who know what we’ll do.

I could go on and on about what’s good and what’s bad, but for everyone it’s going to be different and affect them in different ways.
The one bit of advice I would offer to anyone is, be prepared for an emotional roller coaster ride. NEVER under estimate the strain it may put on your relationship and understand that you will need to work as a team and the whole family has to work together to make it happen. You just have to be strong and be there for each other.
I would never come here if I didn’t have a strong relationship with my partner. Coming here to see if a new country could make things better between you, might be the same as saying lets have another baby and we’ll love each other once more! It ain’t gonna happen!

Everyone I know that has made the move has said it takes 2 years minimum to finally feel settled. Well as I said the 1st year has passed and we just laugh to each other daily how good we feel our life is now. Sure work is hard, but it was in the UK. Sure we never have enough money, we didn’t in the UK etc. Life is just more fun here, with great weather and a great out door lifestyle. We have just got back from the beach and the water was just fantastic and to see our son playing in the surf for hours, it certainly beats watching him sitting in a house with the central heating on full playing on the Play Station for hours!

Anyone having 2nd thought about giving it a try…. Just say to yourself, “Life is too short, there are no rehearsals, this is the real thing” Just go and give it a try, give it 2 years minimum and then make a decision on the future. If it doesn’t work out, you just go back, but at least you gave it a try!

OK I’ve rambled on enough, (sorry) hopefully anyone reading this will realise I/we are the happiest we could be. I still cannot believe we have had this amazing opportunity and everyday I say thank you!

Neil, Michelle & Ethan.
excellent reading. You guys deserve the happiness you have found.
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Old Jan 9th 2007, 12:53 pm
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Talking Re: Our 1st year in Perth update..... Lovin' it!

great post i really enjoyed reading it and to think i could be that happy there is no reason not to give it a try - thanks you put the nerves out my mind for a while!
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Old Jan 9th 2007, 6:38 pm
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Default Re: Our 1st year in Perth update..... Lovin' it!

What an inspirational post.....thank you for sharing your past year with us. Here's to many many more happy years
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Old Jan 9th 2007, 8:16 pm
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Default Re: Our 1st year in Perth update..... Lovin' it!

Originally Posted by h2oskineil View Post
When we arrived, after getting so much help from this web site, I promised I’d do a ‘6 weeks in’ update and then a ‘6 months on’ etc, but I never got around to it, so here’s a few thoughts about our first year in Oz.
It was 1 year on 6th Jan 07 since we arrived in Perth, on the start of our adventure.

A quick background……
I had previously backpacked all over Australia and for the past 20 years it has always been my favourite country and one that I would love to move to one day.
5 years ago I married Michelle (English) in Sydney after being together for 10 years.
For her and our then 3-year-old son it was their first trip to Oz. We had a wonderful wedding and travelled along the East coast and drove up to Port Douglas.
2 years later we all returned to Oz, this time visiting WA (Perth, Margaret River), Victoria (Melbourne, Great Ocean Road) and again to Sydney where we had friends. We kept saying, “If we get the opportunity, we should go and live there!”

Then in 2006, just the opportunity came along and I was sponsored by a major company on a 457 visa for a 2-year contract.
After initial worries about the job and working in a different country, it all was unnecessary worrying as everything has turned out fantastic, and I’ve been promoted with excellent prospects ahead for 2007.
We are now being sponsored for Permanent Residency, which we hope to get in the next moth or two, so everything is going great, so far. Whatever happens we’re determined to get citizenship, as we believe this will be an excellent ‘present’ to give to our son so he can make choices when he’s older.

We kept our house in the UK and rented it out. We took out landlords insurance to cover the rent should our tenant loose their job or become ill and not able to work etc etc. For £286 per year, it gives us piece of mind. (www.letsure.co.uk)

We opened a HSBC bank account in Perth, simply for the reason that we bank with HSBC/First Direct in the UK and international transfers are just £10 per transaction. If we need to visit the bank often, it would be not our 1st choice as there is only one branch in the city and parking is expensive near to the bank, that’s if you can find any! With Internet banking, the only times we have needed to visit the bank is to get a bank cheque when we bought our cars.

When we first arrived into Perth, our very dear friend met us off the aircraft and we stayed with her in the Swan Valley for the first few weeks while we found our feet. The Swan Valley is nice, very hot in the summer as the sea breeze gets the entire heat from the land by the time it gets to the valley, PHEW! She had a couple of horses and dogs and a great property surrounded by paddocks.

We were very lucky to be house sitting for a professional couple who were taking a year off to circumnavigate Australia in a camper van. This had all been arranged before we left the UK and so we knew where we were going to live and which school our son would be going too etc.
Once they set off on their journey, we moved into their house (fully furnished) in the suburb of Marmion, which is North of the River (NOR) and right on the beach!
We had a lovely time and met some great local mum’s and dads who had their kids at the local Marmion Primary School. The school is wonderful and our son settled in very quick and made friends fast and the fact that he settled and was happy, made the whole move down under so much easier.
On the first day at the school, other Mum’s realised my wife was a ‘new mum’ and they all headed off to the beach to get to know each other. She’s ended up great friends with them and started surfing and I bought her a surfboard for her birthday. Now if someone had told me that my wife would be surfing with weeks of arriving, I’d never had believed them! J

We have been back to the UK twice for short holidays during the school holidays, just to see the family and friends. Great to see them, but it made us quickly realise that we preferred Perth to the UK. I know 2 trips in less than a year is extravagant, but we figured for the first few years we’d keep making the trips home to help ease the pain of our parents.
When we left Birmingham to come back to Oz the 2nd time, I had absolutely NO DOUBT in my mind… not even a little one, that we were heading the right way and that Australia is for us the right choice.

Communication with parents and family has been easy. We first used calling cards, which appeared cheap, but you pay for a local call every time you use it and I thought it was expensive. We then discovered www.jajah.com and now make free phone calls to the UK everyday for 1 hour per day. Once you have used the free call allocation, it just 0.015p per minute, so very cheap to call our parents. My wife has at least 2 hours a day on the phone!

So it can’t all be great can it???
Well for us, yes it has been an amazing experience and a year that we’ll never forget, for as long as we live.
We found it hard to buy a 2nd hand car, despite having done loads of research before we left the UK etc, they did appear expensive over here and you get the feeling of paying more then you would in the UK and of course it’s in an un familiar currency to make things even harder.

We have found it quite expensive to shop for everyday basics. Food costs more, so does beer and definitely wine (this was a complete shock) especially as there’s so much produced here! All this on a much lower wage than we were on in the UK, which makes it easy to see why you hear of people going back, after a very short period.
The cost of housing is completely ridiculous at the moment and prices have risen out of all proportions in the past couple of years. We’re now renting a lovely house in the suburb of Hillarys and absolutely love the property and the location. We’re paying more than we’d ever pay for a rental in the UK, but we have never been so happy in our lives and so for us, the extra expense is worth it.
With Permanent Residency on the horizon, we keep thinking about selling our UK property and buying here, but the house next door has just gone on the market at £1.25 million and we know this is way more than we can afford, so we may just carry on renting and enjoying life for now. If houses continue to rise, we’ll kick ourselves for not buying, but if we buy now with the market so high and the prices drop like they did in the UK a few years back, we’ll also kick ourselves…. So who know what we’ll do.

I could go on and on about what’s good and what’s bad, but for everyone it’s going to be different and affect them in different ways.
The one bit of advice I would offer to anyone is, be prepared for an emotional roller coaster ride. NEVER under estimate the strain it may put on your relationship and understand that you will need to work as a team and the whole family has to work together to make it happen. You just have to be strong and be there for each other.
I would never come here if I didn’t have a strong relationship with my partner. Coming here to see if a new country could make things better between you, might be the same as saying lets have another baby and we’ll love each other once more! It ain’t gonna happen!

Everyone I know that has made the move has said it takes 2 years minimum to finally feel settled. Well as I said the 1st year has passed and we just laugh to each other daily how good we feel our life is now. Sure work is hard, but it was in the UK. Sure we never have enough money, we didn’t in the UK etc. Life is just more fun here, with great weather and a great out door lifestyle. We have just got back from the beach and the water was just fantastic and to see our son playing in the surf for hours, it certainly beats watching him sitting in a house with the central heating on full playing on the Play Station for hours!

Anyone having 2nd thought about giving it a try…. Just say to yourself, “Life is too short, there are no rehearsals, this is the real thing” Just go and give it a try, give it 2 years minimum and then make a decision on the future. If it doesn’t work out, you just go back, but at least you gave it a try!

OK I’ve rambled on enough, (sorry) hopefully anyone reading this will realise I/we are the happiest we could be. I still cannot believe we have had this amazing opportunity and everyday I say thank you!

Neil, Michelle & Ethan.
arh... reading your first year brought tears to my eyes!!!!!!!!!!!
for i know too its the right dicision, and i cant wait for our visa.
all the very best of luck in the comming years . i totaly believe in what you say about , `only one life/ no rehursals bit`, only too true.
go for it guys and all who continues to have their say on this site.
be seeing u,
C.
XXXXX
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Old Jan 10th 2007, 11:32 pm
  #14  
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Default Re: Our 1st year in Perth update..... Lovin' it!

Your post was a breath of fresh air and so nice to read. We also love it here. I agree with all you say, house prics, food prices etc etc but like you our life is way better out here even with the negative bits than it ever was in UK.

Onwards and upwards !!!!!
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Old Jan 14th 2007, 3:02 pm
  #15  
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Default Re: Our 1st year in Perth update..... Lovin' it!

Thank you Thank you Thank you -i've read so many bad things about Perth and the whole experience over the past 2 days that i've started to think why bother but you've just made me see why I always wanted to do it! Just wondered how much tax you have to pay on your rental income from UK property?? We're thinking of renting our house out to come over to Perth on a 457 visa. Just concerned about selling the house if we decide to stay longer - would it be a nightmare selling from the other side of the world?? We would be substantially worse off financially in Perth but think the life style would compensate.
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